The annual enrollment period for Medicare starts on October 15th and runs through December 7th, 2012. If you are new to Medicare or thinking about moving from a Medicare Supplement plan to a Medicare Advantage plan there are a few things you should know.
Who is Eligible for the Annual Enrollment?
If you are a United States citizen or a legal permanent resident (you have resided in the United States for 5 consecutive years) and are within three months of your 65th birthday you can enroll in Medicare part A. Your medicare card will be mailed to you and then on the 1st day of the month you turn 65 you can enroll in Medicare Part B. You can change to a Medicare Advantage Plan during the annual enrollment period which is a private health insurance plan. There can be some advantages to enrolling in a Medicare Advantage plan and it would be a good idea to speak to a qualified representative who understands your situation and can help you make the right decision. From January 1st to February 14th you can disenroll from your Medicare Advantage Plan and go back to traditional Medicare Part A and B. You can not change from one Medicare Advantage Plan to another one during this time period so make sure you understand the plan you are purchasing. The annual enrollment is the time you would enroll for Medicare part D or the prescription drug plan which is a part of the traditional Medicare.
Is Annual Enrollment different from Open Enrollment?
Yes, open enrollment is for anyone who has Medicare part A and B and wants to purchase a Medicare Supplement or Medigap policy. The optimal time in which to enroll in a Medigap plan is during the Open Enrollment Period. Your individual Medigap Open Enrollment Period is six months long and begins on the first day of the month in which you are at least 65 years old and enrolled in Medicare Part B. During this period you have a guaranteed issue right to buy a Medigap policy. This means the insurance company may not subject you to medical underwriting (a review of your medical history and the potential risk level it represents to the insurance company). However, outside of this Open Enrollment Period, your enrollment application to a Medigap plan would be subject to medical underwriting. In this scenario, you may be denied coverage or you may be charged more because of particular health problems.
If you have any questions and would like a FREE consultation on which Medigap policy is best for you please give us a call at 800-278-1972 or send us an email.